Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work it while you Work it

We all make excuses sometimes why we don't exercise.  I do it too.  I'm too tired, too busy, not in the mood, would rather do fill-in-the-blank...  But what we forget is that we can work out anywhere and in any way that makes you move just a little bit more.

That means that you can exercise by doing laundry, mowing the grass, working in your garden, even playing with your kids.  Here are 5 ways you can boost your calorie burn and get in an extra "hidden" workout in your own backyard.

Doing Laundry

Not my favorite chore by far!  But I have discovered the joy of hanging my laundry to dry outside.  The fresh air and knowing that my energy consumption is being cut down make this act very satisfying for me.  It also happens to be a little bit more work and therefore burns more calories!

Here's the calorie breakdown:

Regular Laundry - standing and folding: 136 cal/hour*
Carrying clothes up and down stairs: 340 cal/hour* (about 6 cal/min)

That means for regular laundry, lets say for 30 min and going up and down the stairs twice, it is about 98 calories.  Because hanging my clothes on the line takes more time and trips up and down stairs (lets say 20 min and 2 extra stair trips) my 98 calories burned turns into about 173 calories - almost twice as much!

Tilling the Garden

Skip the rented tiller and do it by hand!  Tilling the ground is hard work.  It's a great way to burn some extra calories.  Just make sure to grab some gloves.  My blisters were not so fun to deal with later.  My husband and I tilled our our 15X10 garden together.  It probably took about an hour total with both of us working on it.  According to we burned about 340 calories each!

Mowing the Grass

I am pretty spoiled.  I have an amazing husband who enjoys mowing the grass and therefore, I have not really had to worry about it.  Over the summer of 2012 our family was split across two states and I was  forced to mow my grass.  Little did I know what a great work out it was.  374/hr or 405/hr if not using a power mower.

Pulling Weeds

Believe it or not you can actually burn 306 calories per hour simply weeding your garden or lawn!  Now, the trouble is, do you have that many weeds?  I do!!!  I have this silly area of rock in my back yard that weeds just love to haunt.  So I pick weeds on a regular basis.  Hey, if you don't have many weeds of your own, you can come pull mine!  Or pull your neighbors weeds.  You know, the one who has a thousand dandelions in their yard?  Then you can say, "oh I'm just getting my work out in!" with a smile.

Watering the Garden via Rain Barrel

Standing and watering a garden or your yard doesn't take that much effort.  I mean really, you basically just stand and hold a hose right?  But according to you can still burn 102 calories per hour.  Well when you use a rain barrel there is a little more effort involved.  I can still use a hose but because there is not a lot of pressure I often have to bend down and water close to the plants.  When the barrel is running low, I have to use a watering can and dip it, then walk it to the garden and water my plant.  That process takes time because those little watering cans don't hold much and I have a large garden!  I'm not sure the exact calories burned but I'd say at least double!


The lowest impact of dancing burns 340 calories per hour.  Think about it.  What if you dance while you do these things?  If you throw on your headphones and turn up your favorite dance music you can burn tons of extra calories without even knowing it!  Who cares what the neighbors think!!  Here are a few of my favorite "chore" Pandora channels:

Latin Workout Station
Dance Workout Station
Toby Mac Station
Pitbull Station

No comments:

Post a Comment